Secrets of the Pro Photographers: Video Tutorial Series, Part 3

Welcome! I’m photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, and I’ve worked as a celebrity/fashion and beauty photographer for the last 29 years, capturing subjects from Samuel L. Jackson, to Britney Spears, to Aretha Franklin, to the Future American Presidents. If you’d like to discover how I’ve created a career working with some of the top celebrities, advertising and fashion clients, come check out this FREE 3-part photography training series. I guarantee you will learn something new that can help you on your journey of being a photographer. If you’ve ever wondered if you can make a career as a photographer, or worried about the competition, then this video series is just for you. Happy holidays! Part 3: Tools to Help You Excel in Photography If there’s one question I get more than any other, it’s about the tools I use. People often want to know which camera I use, or which lens is my favorite, or even what’s in my camera bag when I travel. In this video, I go deeper into the tools I use, and explain why each is critical in helping you have a better life as a photographer  — and become more productive. You definitely don’t want to miss this informative video.… Continue reading Secrets of the Pro Photographers: Video Tutorial Series, Part 3

Secrets of the Pro Photographers: Video Tutorial Series, Part 2

Welcome! I’m photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, and I’ve worked as a celebrity/fashion and beauty photographer for the last 29 years, capturing subjects from Samuel L. Jackson, to Britney Spears, to Aretha Franklin, to the Future American Presidents. If you’d like to discover how I’ve created a career working with some of the top celebrities, advertising and fashion clients, come check out this FREE 3-part photography training series. I guarantee you will learn something new that can help you on your journey of being a photographer. If you’ve ever wondered if you can make a career as a photographer, or worried about the competition, then this video series is just for you. Happy holidays! Part 2: 5 Rookie Mistakes Photographers Make (and How to Avoid Them) When I first started my career as a photographer, I did what most photographers do: went out and purchased as much gear as I could afford. The problem with that is that I didn’t know exactly what to buy, so I wasted money buying the wrong gear, then had to buy some things over again. In this video, I’ll share more of the mistakes I made so you can avoid them, and have success faster in your career. Click here to… Continue reading Secrets of the Pro Photographers: Video Tutorial Series, Part 2

Secrets of the Pro Photographers: Video Tutorial Series, Part 1

Welcome! I’m photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, and I’ve worked as a celebrity/fashion and beauty photographer for the last 29 years, capturing subjects from Samuel L. Jackson, to Britney Spears, to Aretha Franklin, to the Future American Presidents. If you’d like to discover how I’ve created a career working with some of the top celebrities, advertising and fashion clients, come check out this FREE 3-part photography training series. I guarantee you will learn something new that can help you on your journey of being a photographer. If you’ve ever wondered if you can make a career as a photographer, or worried about the competition, then this video series is just for you. Happy holidays! First up: Benefits of Photographic Lighting When I look back at my career, the one thing that has made a big difference is learning how to master working with lighting.  Simply putting a light on a stand with a softbox and making a decent picture is not enough. We all need a competitive advantage, and in this video I share tips to help have greater success in photography. Also in this series: Part 2: 5 Rookie Mistakes Photographers Make (and How to Avoid Them)  Part 3: Tools to Help You Excel in… Continue reading Secrets of the Pro Photographers: Video Tutorial Series, Part 1

Escape The Rule of Thirds

A few weeks ago, I came across a Reddit post where someone asked for a simple technique that would improve their photography skills. The most upvoted response was “use the rule of thirds.” Tragically, the rule of thirds has become one of the most widely accepted myths in photography, and one of the worst habits you can find yourself trying to break. If you’ve never heard of the rule of thirds, count yourself lucky, skip this blog post, live well, be awesome, and never let anyone tell you what it is. The rest of you? Keep reading. Look, I get it. Some subjects placed right in the center of the frame are boring or awkward. When you’re starting out, there’s so much to learn and a ton of tech to keep straight in your head. Adopting something simple like the rule of thirds helps some beginners at least think about composition before snapping the shutter — and that’s good, right? Sorry, I have to disagree. There are no shortcuts to experience and developing a bad habit will actually make your work suffer longer. Once you start leaning on a crutch like the rule of thirds, your own sense of composition… Continue reading Escape The Rule of Thirds

Why Is My iPhone Storage Full? (And What Can I Do About It?)

I love my iPhone. It’s not only a great phone, but a great texter, video- and photo-taker and -viewer, gaming device, and so much more. But all that wonderfulness has a silicon ceiling: storage capacity. If you’ve ever seen regular messages with variations of iPhone storage full, you know what I mean. Apple offers a variety of options for iPhone memory capacity, but show me the biggest iPhone SSD out there (like my iPhone 6s+ with 128 GB of storage) and I’ll show you a way to fill it, fast. How? iPhone’s Worst Space Hogs: Photos & Camera Videos Music Messages (especially if you send/receive a lot of photo and video messages) Games Other Apps Tip: You can see what’s stored (and where) on your iPhone by opening Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. iPhones Are Chock Full o’ Pictures Like other smart phone users, those of us with iPhones like to take a ton of pictures. But apparently we’re even more snappy than most: a 2015 study showed that iPhone users took an average of 250 photos per month — 65% more than the average Android user. That leaves a lot to be managed (not to mention a quickly… Continue reading Why Is My iPhone Storage Full? (And What Can I Do About It?)

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Portraits Super Sexy

Lots of photographers think there’s a formula for shooting portraits: You need a fast, 100mm lens. You need a gray card. You need to shoot eye level to your subject. And the truth is, these are all good techniques — but these rules can be broken, and with great effect. Here are some simple tips where you can both take advantage of the great results to be had from classic portrait techniques, while also taking a few creative liberties of your own to produce a look that stands out. First, you’ll need a backdrop. Backdrops are an inexpensive way to keep your creative integrity while producing that classic portrait look. To create a specific mood, you’ll need to choose the right backdrop material and color. Be sure and have a clear concept in mind before you do this; otherwise, you’ll find yourself constrained by what the backdrop seems to require of you as you shoot. Vivify your dream before you make your purchase. Brainstorm. Take your time. Once you’ve done this, consider the following options: Pipe and Drape. This is composed of two stands with a crossbar in between, and a cloth  draped over the bar, secured with A-Clamps. Muslin… Continue reading 3 Easy Ways to Make Your Portraits Super Sexy

Pro Tips from a Past Master: Josef Scaylea

These days, taking pictures is as common as eating (never mind taking pictures of what we’re eating). But some of us remember a time when making an image was a more intentional exercise, and sharing it involved chemicals, fumes, and a certain amount of technical know-how. I’m not getting all misty-eyed about the film days, but I do wonder: what can we learn today from these craft masters of yesterday? One such past master is award-winning photographer Josef Scaylea, who served as Chief Photographer to The Seattle Times for 35 years, as well as head photographer for Pacific Magazine. From War to Washington State Josef Scaylea learned his trade the way many of the World War II generation did —  in the military. As an Air Corpsman, he’d photograph missions over Okinawa, the Philippines, and Japan. Postings to Washington State introduced Scalea to a region that enthralled him; he settled there after leaving the military, staying until his death in 2004 at the age of 91. Scaylea’s camera skills — particularly in black and white — landed him a job with the State’s leading daily newspaper, where he soon became Chief Photographer, winning awards from Look, Life, Graflex, and the National Press Photographers Association along the way. After retiring from the Seattle Times, Scaylea taught and mentored… Continue reading Pro Tips from a Past Master: Josef Scaylea

3 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Mylio

Mylio is so chock full, so bursting at the seams with useful features that it can be easy to overlook some. Here are three that we find especially handy, and think you will too: Mylio Clipboard The Mylio Clipboard is a tool for temporarily storing photos you want to move from one place to another – like between folders or albums — while organizing. Say you want to make a slideshow for a surprise party, and you’re culling through all your embarrassing pictures of the guest of honor; the clipboard is where you’d collect all these images before moving on to other tasks. You can access the clipboard by either clicking the clipboard icon at the lower right hand corner, expanding the bottom panel, and providing space to which you can drag these shots (you can also just drag images to the bottom panel, and the clipboard will open automagically. Power users can right click any image and select ‘add to clipboard’). You can also move entire folders to the clipboard. Once you’ve assembled what you want, you can then drag everything from the clipboard into a new (or existing) folder or album. Simple. Note: The next two features are… Continue reading 3 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Mylio

Why Is My iPhone Storage Full? (And What Can I Do About It?)

I love my iPhone. It’s not only a great phone, but a great texter, video- and photo-taker and -viewer, gaming device, and so much more. But all that wonderfulness has a silicon ceiling: storage capacity. If you’ve ever seen regular messages with variations of iPhone storage full, you know what I mean. Apple offers a variety of options for iPhone memory capacity, but show me the biggest iPhone SSD out there (like my iPhone 6s+ with 128 GB of storage) and I’ll show you a way to fill it, fast. How? iPhone’s Worst Space Hogs: Photos & Camera Videos Music Messages (especially if you send/receive a lot of photo and video messages) Games Other Apps Tip: You can see what’s stored (and where) on your iPhone by opening Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. iPhones Are Chock Full o’ Pictures Like other smart phone users, those of us with iPhones like to take a ton of pictures. But apparently we’re even more snappy than most: a 2015 study showed that iPhone users took an average of 250 photos per month — 65% more than the average Android user. That leaves a lot to be managed (not to mention a quickly… Continue reading Why Is My iPhone Storage Full? (And What Can I Do About It?)